Whistle, the “Fitbit for dogs,” has found a home at Mars Petcare, TechCrunch has learned. The maker of Snickers and M&M’s also has a large pet division and has plans to integrate Whistle’s animal technology.
“Whistle is excited to join the Mars Petcare family. This opportunity connects the industry’s global and technology leaders, enabling a new era of pet care,” the company tells TechCrunch. “Mars Petcare and Whistle shared a core belief around the importance of pets in our lives, and we look forward to connecting nutrition, healthcare, and technology to improve the lives of pets and their families.” Mars owns popular pet brands including Pedigree, Whiskas and Iams.
The purchase happened last month and, according to one source with knowledge of the deal, the company was bought for more than $100 million, although Whistle would not confirm the number. We also hear that Nestle’s Purina may have held acquisition conversations.
Whistle’s GPS Pet Tracker makes it easier to keep tabs on your pet’s fitness, with a collar that monitors steps: Know if your dog walker gave Fluffy a good workout by checking in with Whistle’s connected app.
Whistle’s activity trackers help you set your pet’s fitness goals, track progress and compare stats to other similar dogs. The location-sharing could also help you find your dog if it ever gets lost.
Backed by Carmelo Anthony’s Melo7 Technologies, Nokia Growth Partners, Nas’ Queensbridge, Slow Ventures, DCM Ventures, Qualcomm and more, Whistle raised $21 million in venture funding. CEO Ben Jacobs co-founded Whistle when he was an entrepreneur-in-residence at DCM Ventures in 2012.
Whistle itself has made some acquisitions, buying the Tagg tracker last year. The team is based in San Francisco.